CLIENT UPDATE, NOVEMBER, 2014

BRIAN J. SHEPPARD, PFP

Attorney At Law

18075 Ventura Blvd., Suite 109

Encino, CA  91316

Phone: (818) 342-5799/Fax: (818) 342-2470

[email protected]

Website: www.BrianSheppardLaw.com

LinkedIn, Avvo.com, Facebook

 

Of Counsel:

 

                        LAW OFFICES  OF STUART D. ZIMRING

 

CLIENT UPDATE – NOVEMBER, 2014

 

  •        TO RECEIVE MY BLOG  (ON MATTERS I OF INTEREST TO MY CLIENTS),  EMAIL ME AT [email protected] WITH THE WORD “SUBSCRIBE” IN THE SUBJECT LINE.

 

  •        The year had many articles on poor management at the Veterans Administration, long waits for appointments, and, most unfortunately, the abuse of disability benefits.  These shortcomings interfere with the VA’s ability to provide for those truly injured in their service to our country.

 

  • Social Security payments are scheduled to go up 1.8% in January, while Medicare premiums for part B will stay at $104.90 per month is 2015.

 

  • More insurance companies now pay for “end of life talks” for those with terminal illness.  And the Obama Administration will require HMOs to pay for care outside of the network when the network cannot provide adequate care.

 

  • Delaying social security benefits until 70 enables you to collect 8% for each year you wait and for the increases that occur while you are waiting.

 

  • 46 people die every day from painkiller overdoses.

 

  • Gay marriage is now legal in 35 states.

 

  • A Roth 401k, which requires regular distributions when you reach 70 1/2.

 

  • President Obama has a first, an agreement with China under which both countries will reduce long-term emissions by a specific date.

 

  • Books: Two informative works I read this year are “Average is Over” by Tyler Cowen, (arguing that just being “average” is no longer adequate to having a secure life), and “The Price of Inequality”, by Nobel Prize winning economist by Joseph Stiglitz, (who reviews the effects increasing economic inequality has on our country).

 

  • As usual, this year I planted 13 more trees to offset the carbon footprint of my office and family, for a total of 104 trees to date.  This office also donates to KPCC public radio  KCET, the Natural Resources Defense Counsel, the Sierra Club, the American Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Doctors Without Borders, Viet Nam Veterans and FINCA (which makes micro loans).  I do this with a broader interpretation of “estate” to include not just the money I leave behind but trying to leave the world and environment a little bit better, too.

 

  • If I have done a trust for you, you should contact me every five years or when there is a major life event.  Also, if you take your house out of the trust to refinance your mortgage, be sure the house is put back into the trust when the refinance is completed.  And, ALWAYS be on the lookout for identity theft.  Guard your personal information zealously.  Seniors are prime targets for identity thieves.

 

  • If you do not have one attached to your Advance Health Care Directive or Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care, contact me to get a HIPAA release form.

 

  • If you have an internet account, make sure that you your screen names, password(s) and codes in an envelope with your estate planning documents or give them to someone you trust.

 

  •         Quotables: “Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.”  (Oprah Winfrey)

 

  • Beware of non-attorneys who draft legal documents for you cheaply so you can “save money by avoiding attorneys”.

 

My wife, Yvonne, continues to help  me with Spanish speaking clients.  Yvonne is also available to provide caregiver services by separate arrangement (telephone: 818-613-9251).  Currently she is employed full-time but openings can arise.

 

If you have a legal problem outside of my areas of practice, please call for a referral to another attorney.

 

Lastly, I would appreciate any positive reviews on “A V V O.com , (letters separated otherwise the Vs look like a W), where I am rated 10 out of 10, and I thank those who have already done so.

 

And finally, I wish each of you a healthy and happy holiday season!

 

 

Brian Sheppard